Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review: Seeker

SEEKER
Seeker #1
Arwen Elys Dayton
Young Adult/Fantasy
448 Pages
Delacorte BFYR
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Amazon)
The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor.
 
As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world.
 
And she'll be with the boy she loves--who's also her best friend.
 
But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes.

Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought.
 
And now it's too late to walk away.

MY THOUGHTS
Seeker is one of those unusual books where we reach the final page and find ourselves unable to explain to a friend what actually happened over the course of the story. Events clearly take place and characters' lives are forever altered, but the way in which they're altered loses some of its emotional impact in the haze of confusion surrounding this world, the existence of its magic and the characters' role in wielding it. What starts out as pure fantasy set in Scotland on a medieval estate turns strangely contemporary and then futuristic as we bounce to Hong Kong and London, leaving us a bit adrift in time and place with no real connection to the story itself to help anchor us.

Perhaps the hardest aspect to come to terms with is the lack of information surrounding the Seekers themselves.The synopsis and tagline prepare us for the reveal of an enormous betrayal as to their true purpose, but in the very moment where that truth is to be illuminated in all its startling glory we fade to black and return to Quin and Shinobu only in the aftermath. We can guess as to what happened off page, but with so many other questions regarding the magic and history of the Seekers, being denied a front row seat to a pivotal emotional moment for our protagonists leaves us feeling distinctly detached from the story.

In additional to lack of explanation for a number of Seeker-related things, we also split our attention between four different characters and jump back and forth in time, further disorienting us in a world we're already struggling to make sense of. A romance is also hinted at in the synopsis, but it's so minor an element as to be largely inconsequential, the feelings between Quin and John already established when we meet them and they remain on the surface throughout even as the various relationships between all four narrators begin to shift and change. 

Overall, Seeker leaves us with far more questions than answers, something not entirely uncommon with a first installment, but the questions we're left with are not of the maddeningly brilliant variety that keep us on edge until the next book is in our hands. Instead, they're they kind that leave us on the outside looking in, waiting to be a part of something that has the potential to be spectacular.

Rating: 2.5/5

Find Arwen:

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

25 comments:

  1. Well that's too bad. Detached is not how I want to feel while reading a book.

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  2. I keep seeing reviews like this one so I confess that I'm not really attracted to the book. I'm sorry it was like that for you.

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  3. Oh man. Whenever a book leaves questions that just make me go o.O, it's never a good sign. Especially when the synopsis makes it sound so interesting!

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  4. I was rather confused as if to this one was science fiction or fantasy, with some steampunk touches, and I think the book was a bit undecided too.
    I liked it a bit more than you did and I will read the sequel if only to see if we get some more answers, but if we don't... I'm ditching the series!
    Great review Jenny!

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  5. I'm glad I ended up DNFing this early on. It really doesn't seem like I would have enjoyed it any better had I stuck to it. It's such a shame because this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Like Pili above, I was entirely too confused at what genre it was supposed to be. They would use horses as travel and then have headphones. I was very confused. I'm sorry it wasn't better for you either, Jenny, but from what I garner, we're not alone!
    Lovely review, Jenny.

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  6. I am seeing and hearing about this book everywhere ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  7. Aw man! This sounds like a disappointment:( It's so important to feel connected to the characters and for a book to have a focus (or not jump to and fro so much) so it's sad that such a promising book didn't do so well on these aspects.
    I love some magic and romance but they both seem quite confusing and dismissed of in this book so I don't think it's for me;)
    Hopefully it's potential is realized later on in the series:)
    Great review as always Jenny!:D

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  8. All of the pieces seem like they were there. but the author obviously failed to bring everything together in a cohesive way. Being left scratching your head when you get to the last page is never a good feeling. I understand the need for more questions than answers in a book 1, but there are limits.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

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  9. You wrote this so lovely Jenny! Honest but still encouraging and beautiful! Well done!!

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  10. I really struggle with books that don't have clear-cut world-building and that leave readers with too many unanswered questions. I've been seeing the cover of this one around a lot so I'm glad you reviewed it because it's definitely not for me. Thanks for your honesty, Jenny! :)

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  11. I truly struggled and ended up doing a DNF on this Jenny, so I am not at all surprised by your thoughts. I had high hopes.

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  12. I completely agree with this review. It explains everything I felt while reading it. It's kind of sad because there wasn't very much build up for the next book because the plot just kept going around in the same circle.

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  13. Bummer, I really hate that detached feeling, Jenny. Questions as you said are to be expected with it being the first book in a series but if I can't tell people what it is about then I'm at a lost.

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  14. When wordlbuilding is done well, it adds to story and plot, but when it overpowers characters, it takes away from the story.

    Lovely review :)

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  15. ugh.... I am skipping this one. I have a copy, but I started reading a lot of DNF reviews and such and this one just doesn't seem to be working. I am not a fan of poor world building and I can't handle books with more questions than answers. I will pass. Thanks for the fair review, Jenny.

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  16. I have a copy of this and was going to give it a try, but I don't think I will bother now. I don't want to feel like I'm on the outside looking in, or that pivotal plot moments happen off stage. It's a shame this had so many issues, it seems to be a big title for RH. Thank you for your honest, thoughtful review Jenny! :-)

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  17. Yikes! I had hopes but they kind of fell apart after a few reviews

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  18. Oh no! The book sounded epic from the blurb, but if it's all over the place then that's not going to work. I may wait until I've forgotten about the reviews this book got and then try reading it.

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  19. So happy to see you loving this book. I can’t wait to read it :D

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  20. Oh no! I've read a few chapters of this one - I'm still on the fantasy section - and so far it's been okay. I'm really disappointed though to learn that it ends up being all over the place. I'm not sure now whether I should continue with it or just DNF it.

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  21. Jenny, you know I felt much the same way. There were moments that I truly enjoyed this story, but the overwhelming sense of so many elements left unanswered and the big reveal with little afterwards to fill in the blanks left it anti-climatic for me as well.
    Thank you for your thoughtful review, Jenny :)

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  22. So far this seems to be the consensus in the reviews or buzz I've seen for this one - which was a shame because it seemed to have a lot of potential, which seems wasted on all counts here. I don't like the sound of feeling so disconnected and apart from the action, plot and characters. Not to mention how the book doesn't seem to be able to settle on a genre o.O I'm sorry this one was mostly a letdown and here's hoping your next read is/was much improved! Thanks for the lovely review all the same Jenny^^ xx

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  23. Aw that is just too bad that this didn't work. I hate when there are too many things left open and too many questions.
    Thanks for the great review though!

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  24. I don't even know if I'd give it that extra half, Jenny. I was so disappointed with this book. Such potential...such publisher hype...and meh.

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  25. I have heard this one is even going to be made into a movie! It's a shame that this one was so confusing and some aspects of it weren't explained properly. I haven't really got much interest in reading this one.

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